JBL And Cole: The Choice Of A New Generation

jbl and cole What’s up peeps? It’s been a while since I’ve come through, got other projects running at the moment, but I’m back tonight to spread some controversy. Watching Raw last week, I was enthralled. I usually hate the Christmas episode; I spend a majority of the time during said shows on the fast forward button with my DVR. Last week was completely different from years past. While my first inclination is the fact that the show was pretty much built on in-ring action, something that seems to be a crazy theory in WWE these days. Aside from that, there was one massive difference between what I saw last week and what I’ve seen in weeks past. I know many people may scoff at the notion, but I think Raw was actually better last week because Jerry Lawler wasn’t there. Cole and JBL have chemistry out the ass, they’ve worked together so much that they’ve become a well-oiled machine when working with each other. I hate to say something like that, especially when it’s about a man who LITERALLY gave his life for his craft, but maybe it’s time that Jerry moved off to a backstage role and out of the booth.

A few years back WWE sent Jim Ross out to pasture, with the fans going absolutely nuts about the voice of a generation being kicked to the curb in a manner of speaking. I’ll admit, this was a well-deserved uproar because Jim Ross was, and still could be, the absolute man at any announce table. I think the departure of J.R. has had a negative effect on Jerry Lawler’s spot as the color commentator; he just doesn’t seem to have the same chemistry with Cole and JBL as he did with Jim Ross. That’s to be expected, the team or King and Ross were together for so many years, and spent so much time together that they were almost in unison with one another. It’s like a brother, you’re together so long that you can nearly tell what the other is thinking, and as a result, you can play perfectly off your counterpart. As bad as this may sound to some, I don’t think Lawler has the years left to build that kind of chemistry with his current booth mates. I love Lawler as a worker, and as a color man, but it just seems that the time has passed, unfortunate as it may seem.

Last week was an eye opener; JBL and Cole are just magic with one another. The years they spent together on Smackdown, their run with the JBL and Cole show, and what seems to be a legit friendship off air has made these two men everything that Ross and Lawler once were. I, as well as many others, dreaded Michael Cole taking over for Jim Ross on Raw. That being said, the man has stepped up to the plate, and even earned praise from Jim Ross himself for the job he’s done in a seemingly impossible chair to fill. JBL has been magic in the announcer role from the day he first got a seat at the table. I’ve been a huge fan of JBL, loved his work in the ring, and his work on the mic made his transition to color commentator an easy one. Jerry Lawler is the voice of a past generation at the table, and while I hate to see the end of an era, last week was a glimpse that maybe the time has come. While I think it’s time to send Lawler out from his current position, I’m not willing to say he needs to be gone completely from the business or even WWE, my first move would be letting Ross and Lawler take over the booth on “Old School” Raw, and secondly I would call them in for select PPV matchups.

It seems that father time has claimed one more victim, and that would be the career of Jerry Lawler as the secondary voice of Monday Night Raw. Aside from the special appearances, I would actually be willing to put Ross and Lawler back together in the form of a podcast, similar to the JBL and Cole show. The show would be a trip down memory lane, bringing in old school workers and telling stories from the old days of the business. They wealth of knowledge between these two men is so great that putting them in a position like this would help share the history of pro wrestling with the new generation of fans. Another idea would be putting these two as the announcers for NXT tapings and allowing them to step into developmental as mentors for the up and comers at the WWE Performance Center. I just think that the time has come for Jerry Lawler to step away from the chair on the primary show; I’ve even had some people suggest he’s been phoning it in for years. It’s time to end the era and move on to the next one, as much as it saddens me to say it.

The one thing that stuck out more than anything to me on last week’s show was the announcing, JBL was in rare form working one on one with Michael Cole, and it made the show so much more enjoyable. We all love Jerry, but there comes a time in every man’s life when he must look in the mirror and realize that his time is up, and last Monday was that time, in my honest opinion. I’m not taking anything from Lawler, the man earned his spot in the Hall of Fame, and he’s been great in the booth for ages, but he’s just not been the same man since the departure of Ross. The only other way to remedy this situation is to bring back Jim Ross full time, and I don’t think he would want the headache of traveling that much again. I would have Lawler and Ross become the Undertaker of the booth, they only work on VERY rare occasions, making every time they step up to the plate that much more important. It has pained me to write this article, because nobody ever wants to say one of their favorites in a prominent role should step away, but this is the situation we’re faced with now. There is, and will only be, one King…I and a generation of fans salute you, chant out in unison…Thank you Jerry.

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  • Bryan N.

    Interesting perspective Chris. I'll agree with you on the chemistry aspect of Cole and JBL's on-air commentary. Lawler seems to try to keep pace, but sometimes his comments seem to come out of left field, as if to say "Yes, I'm still here, remember me?" And there's no denying that J.R. and Lawler just clicked anytime they called matchups on PPV or RAW. I wouldn't go as far as saying Jerry has been phoning it in, but you can absolutely tell he feels completely out of place on the three-man booth. Just listen to his tone of voice when those left field comments roll in. It's hard to admit it, especially because I started watching just shortly before the split King and J.R., but I think it's time to leave the past in the past and go with the Undertaker route you've suggested. Great read and very well written!

    • christopher525

      Thanks, it was highlighted so much tonight. Last week wasn't any more amazing of a show, but the flow between Cole and JBL just made it feel better.

  • Johnny Ace

    I agree with what you say about JBL I was also a fan of him as a wrestler and as a commentator he is arguably the best heel commentator since the Brain Heenan. The problem with the King is that as a face commentator I find him to be very bland while JBL makes better calls on the technical moves by the wrestlers leaving Lawler with the "I agree sentence". Even during the Attitude Era except for his pro corporation statements and cries of "Puppies" Paul Heyman was a better caller.

    Jim Ross on the other hand is absolutely still the best color commentator in arguably any sport let alone wrestling and was let go too early and for a disability no less which considering this is a company that is supposedly against discrimination is poor double standards. JR could make any match seem exciting filled the viewers into the background of matches and his calls for some of the greatest moments in wrestling are up there with the moments themselves he was let go too early and should be brought back.

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